Chennai: Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai echoed Governor R N Ravi’s view that the car explosion in Coimbatore on the eve of Diwali was an attempt to unleash a major terror attack and claimed on Saturday that chief minister M K Stalin was wrongly informed about the incident.
Wondering if any attempt was being made to screen the offenders, Annamalai alleged there was ample evidence pointing to a terror attack and little action was taken despite the Centre having issued an alert on October 18. “The hands of some honest police officials have been tied while a senior police officer in Coimbatore has not visited the scene of the crime,” Annamalai alleged at a press conference here.
While attributing the explosion to an attempt to unleash a major terror attack, the Governor said on October 28 in Coimbatore that the explosives and IED-making chemicals found later suggested that they had planned a series of attacks.
Responding to a question on state electricity and excise minister V Senthil Balaji’s demand that Annamalai be investigated for disclosing the particulars, the BJP president said he was prepared to divulge the relevant information if he was summoned. “I will also reveal the names of officials who had shared the information with me and then make the information public. Many heads are likely to roll if the truth is revealed,” Annamalai said. He claimed that Stalin was being wrongly informed.
“The Centre had issued a specific alert on October 18. Why did the officials sleep over it for four days? Why is there an attempt to downplay the terror attack as a mere cylinder blast,” the BJP president asked.
On Friday, Senthil Balaji said the NIA should investigate Annamalai for disclosing the details before the police could issue a statement. Also, the Minister claimed that the police identified the deceased within 12 hours of the blast and arrested 5 people in 24 hours.
The case was transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) following a recommendation by the Chief Minister. As part of an initiative to strengthen security, the State government ordered that 3 new police stations be established at Karumbukadai, Sundarapuram and Goundanpalayam in Coimbatore.
The Union home ministry had on October 27 directed the NIA to probe into the incident. Annamalai said he was willing to divulge information provided the Chief Minister initiated action against the wrong-doers and presented a White Paper on the delay in not responding to the alert.